The SS Walter L. Fleming was a Liberty ship built at J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida, during World War II. She was named after Walter Lynwood Fleming, an American historian and Dean of the Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Science. The SS Walter L. Fleming was laid down on 31 October 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract and launched on 7 December 1943. Of all veterans in the military, members of the U.S. Navy faced the highest levels of asbestos exposure during their service. Fire was a significant concern in ships loaded with fuel that was highly heated and vulnerable to attack, thus, it was crucial to take all necessary steps to prevent fires, including using fire retardants like asbestos. The SS Walter L. Fleming was allocated to Waterman Steamship Corp., on 30 January 1944. Two years later she was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, in the James River Group, Lee Hall, Virginia. The ship was sold to Bethlehem Steel for scrapping on 15 September 1959 and withdrawn from the fleet a few days later.
93 years old